Sunday, October 3, 2010

Spa Girl checks out the benefits of Walking

For some of us exercise does not come easily. Tired when we get home from a busy day--I would rather head to the spa--the last thing you feel like doing is lacing on the runners and going for a walk. But the extraordinary benefits of walking are worth pushing just that little further. And walking is one of the healthiest forms of exercise. So I say, walk to the Spa!

Walking is a simple and easy way to improve your overall wellbeing and reduce the chances of developing health concerns associated with inactivity such as obesity, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Walking will reduce your blood pressure, improve your cardiovascular functions and as a low impact activity, it's gentle on the joints. But the benefits don't stop there, walking is also credited for helping to reduce high cholesterol, reducing body fat, enhancing mental wellbeing, increasing bone density, reducing the risk of cancer, helping to control body weight and helping to increase flexibility and co-ordination. Pretty impressive!

Many cities, eager to help improve the health and welfare of their residents offer great walking programs and have published books highlighting local hiking trails from easy to extreme. Just go to your cities website and check it out.

The Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes or more of accumulated moderate intensity physical activity on five or more days per week to improve health and fitness. "Accumulated" means you can do it in shorter bouts throughout the day (for example, 10- or 15-minute intervals throughout the day), and "moderate intensity" means you feel warm and slightly out of breath when you do it.
There are many great ways to get started. Ask a friend to walk with you, get off the bus and walk that additional block or two, or better yet, ride your bike to work. Park your car at the bottom of the parking lot and walk that extra wee bit, and keep your walking shoes handy for that quick ten minute walk around the block for a nice break from your computer.

I'm off to practice what I preach!

Here is some great information on the do and don'ts of walking...

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